Office 365 2015 Spring Migration Success

Posted on: June 18, 2015

The Office 365 2015 Spring Migration project fulfilled its goal of transitioning volunteer Colleges, Schools and Units (CSUs) from UT Austins on-premise Microsoft Exchange environment, Austin Exchange Messaging Service (AEMS), to Microsofts Office 365 cloud-hosted calendaring and email environment. This project fulfills an IT Governance priority for 2015 and demonstrates that skill, perseverance, collaboration, and communication are a winning combination.

After investing time in the early spring in migration planning and preparation, the Information Technology Services (ITS) Office 365 project team led by Sabina Winters, Senior Project Manager, ITS Systems, worked closely with site champions in the Moody College of Communication, Athletics and the Erwin Center, the University Development Office, the College of Liberal Arts, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and UT Press–as well as a number of other CSUs–to prepare faculty and staff for the migration to Office 365. The migrations which occurred over the course of three weeks during April and May were successful, due to the leadership, diligence and know-how of the site champions.

A total of 2,669 mailboxes were migrated from on premise AEMS to Office 365. The overall success rate for the mailbox migration was 99.8%, exceeding the target rate of 95%. Formal Help Desk assistance with migration issues was only needed by 5.3% of the faculty and staff new to Office 365, well below the anticipated 15%. Campus feedback shows that a vast majority of people were pleased with the migration process. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Michael Bos, Associate Athletics Director, IT, Intercollegiate Athletics said: Again, can’t thank you all enough for making this so smooth and easy.
  • Charles Soto, Director, Moody College of Communication, praised the team: In all, we’re very pleased with how this went. Please thank your team for us.

As an organization, ITS learned a lot with this implementation. Most importantly, that taking the time up-front to truly understand and meet our colleagues needs facilitates the effort, and fosters strong relationships and trust. Work remains to migrate additional volunteer CSUs over the summer and remove on-premise AEMS email boxes that are no longer needed. By the fall semester 2015, approximately 90% of the original ~20,000 on-premise AEMS mailboxes will have been migrated to Office 365. Technical Support Contacts (TSCs) and others in CSUs who have questions about Office 365 or who want to migrate from AEMS can contact Sabina Winters , Project Manager, ITS Systems.

Site champions in the CSUs, professional services partners Avanade and Microsoft, and members of the Office 365 Project team from Academic Technology Services, the ITS Help Desk, ITS Managed IT Services, and ITS Systems all deserve kudos for the hard work and dedication which enabled this project to be successful. Thank you to everyone involved. You have each made a valuable contribution to the way we support the University community.

UPDATE: On Saturday June 13, Microsoft made a change to the spam filter settings in Office 365. Many emails sent between Saturday June 13 and Monday June 15 may have been erroneously sent to your junk mail folder. Please check your junk mail folder. If you see valid emails in your junk mail folder, you will find remediation instructions here . If you need further assistance, please contact the ITS Help and Service Desk. Apologies for the hassle.

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